Ribollita is a great Tuscan soup to enjoy in the cold autumn/winter season. A chunky soup made with bread, vegetables and legumes to keep you warm. The original way of cooking ribollita is by simmering in a pot (click here for a wiki article on ribollita). It will fill any room with a hearty aroma. My cravings for this dish and lack of time led me to cook it in the oven. It was great on the first try, so I had to do it again and again. Now I must confess I don’t know if I will ever make a ribollita in a pot.
Bread is a big part of the Italian lifestyle and every bit of it is used. Even the old stale bread comes into great use for dishes like this one. Ask any Italian nonna, they never throw away stale bread. In addition to renewing the old, make no mistake, Italians appreciate newness. Such as newly harvested seasonal fruits and vegetables. Some of my favourite autumn/winter vegetables are kale and savoy cabbage. Seasonal vegetables are vibrant and the best for hearty and tasty dishes.
Another hearty Italian dish that might interest you is the Ragu Bolognese Sauce, just as lush!
It’s always a delight walking into an Italian grocery store. An even greater delight is strolling down the roadside market. A display straight from the farmers and producers showcasing their best in-season vegetables and fruits. Especially from the small scale producers who always willingly give you cooking tips or have small products made from their plants like jams and marmalades. I will leave the tales of the Italian farmers and producers for another day. Let’s go straight to the recipe for a rich yet easy delicacy.
Here’s the recipe:
- Baking dish
- 500 g kale
- 450 g Stale bread
- 400 g savoy cabbage
- 400 g leek
- 2 large plum tomatoes (about 380g)
- 2 large potatoes (about 420g)
- 1 red onion
- 250 g celery
- 1 ½ L water
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 240 g can of cannelini beans (or any white/buttery common bean)
- 240 g can of borlotti beans (aka roman beans or cramberry beans) (or any brown common bean)
- Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celsius. While the oven is being pre-heated, proceed to prepare the vegetables.
- Start with the leafy greens, cut the cabbage in half, remove the hardest internal rib and cut into small chunks; Wash and destalk the Kale leafs and cut into small rough pieces.
- Remove the dark green section of the leek and discard. Wash and cut, slicing the leeks crossways.
- Wash and cut all the other vegetables (onions, tomatoes, celery and potatoes) roughly into small chuncks and pieces.
- Place all the vegetables in a baking dish, pour in the olive oil and water. Cover with aluminium paper and place in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes.
- In the mean time, chop the stale bread into small chunks.
- Ones the vegetables are cooked (after 40 minutes), bring the dish out of the oven, then add and mix-in the chopped stale bread.
- Empty both cans of beans into a sieve and rinse with cold water, then pour into the dish. Season with salt and pepper and gently mx everything together.
- Return the baking dish into the oven and bake for 10 more minutes.
- Turn oven off and remove the dish. Serve hot.